Home2022Malaysia's Hope Now Relies in the Men's Doubles

Malaysia’s Hope Now Relies in the Men’s Doubles

Malaysian badminton fans' hopes and desire to watch their representative in the Men's Singles finals have diminished. One of the host’s mainstays, Lee Zii Jia, surprisingly failed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open 2022. The fifth seed lost the rubber game 19-21, 21-19, 16-21 to Indonesian representative Shesar Hiren Rustavito at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Thursday (30/6/2022) local time. This defeat made the match record of Lee Zii Jia, currently ranked #5, and Shesar Hiren Rustavito, ranked #26, to a 4-4 draw.

This defeat stopped Lee Zii Jia’s journey to make his name as a champion at the Malaysia Open. Lee hasn’t succeeded yet in following the footsteps of his senior, Lee Chong Wei, one of Malaysia’s badminton legends, who won the Malaysia Open 12 times with his last collection in 2018. 

For Vito himself, this victory put him against second seed from Japan Kento Momota, who in the second round defeated Angus Ng Ka-long of Hong Kong with three games 11-21, 21-8, 21-18. The record of meeting Vito and Kento Momota is more in favor of Kento, who has always won in the previous two meetings, namely at the 2021 French Open and the 2011 World Junior Championships.

With Lee Zii Jia's defeat, Malaysia hopes to win the title now rely on the men's doubles number. There are still three pairs, Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi, and Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik. For these three pairs, they have to face tough opponents to qualify for the semifinals. Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin will face the Indonesia Open 2022 champion from China Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi. They have met once, namely at the German Open and won by Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin. Then, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi will meet the sixth seed who also won the Indonesia Masters 2022 Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto from Indonesia. This year, the two pairs have met twice and Alfian/Rian won the Swiss Open and the Korea Open. Meanwhile, the other one will be the rematch for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medalist Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, who are seeded in fifth position, against Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan, the third seed from Indonesia. 

Actually, Malaysia also still has one representative in the women's doubles, Anna Cheong/Teoh Mei Xing. However, their chances of breaking into the semifinals are very tough because they are due to meet the fifth seed from Japan, Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara. Although the two pairs have never met, Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara's ranking is much better in sixth place. Meanwhile, Anna Cheong/Teoh Mei Xing are ranked 44th.

Among the participating countries for the Malaysia Open 2022, China is the only country that has successfully placed its representatives in all numbers in the quarter-finals. In the men's singles, Lu Guang Zu will face Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn, a three-time world junior champion. In women's singles, China has more than one representative, namely Wang Zhi Yi, Han Yue, and Chen Yu Fei. Wang Zhi Yi, ranked 13, will meet Line Kjaerfeldt of Denmark, ranked 29. This meeting at the 2022 Malaysia Open will be the second meeting after Wang Zhi Yi won in the Uber Cup 2020 finals. Meanwhile, Han Yue will challenge Thailand's eighth seed Ratchanok Intanon. From their meeting record, Ratchanok Intanon is more favored because she has always won in the previous four matches. Chen Yu Fei's party, the fourth seed, will be exciting because she will meet the sixth seed Nozomi Okuhara from Japan. They have met ten times with six of them being won by Chen Yu Fei, who is also the Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist.

Just like in the women's singles, in the women's doubles, China also passed three representatives, namely Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan, the first seeds, Du Yue/Li Wen Mei, and Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu. Two of the three pairs will meet Indonesian doubles. Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan will face Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia. Two weeks ago, the two pairs met in the final of the Indonesia Open 2022 and Chen/Jia won 21-18, 21-14. Then, Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu will meet Ribka Sugiarto/Febby Valencia for the first time. Lastly, Du Yue/Li Wen Mei will go against Jeong Na-eun/Kim Hye-jeong from South Korea.

For mixed doubles, China also has more than one representative. Second seed Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong, and fourth seed Wang Yilyu/Huang Dong Ping. Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong will again meet with the French pair Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue, who are seeded in eighth position. The two pairs met in the final of the Indonesia Masters three weeks ago and were won by Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong. Meanwhile, Wang Yilyu/Huang Dong Ping will face Kim Won-ho/Jeong Na-eun from South Korea.



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